Friday, March 1, 2013
Harkness Dining Room, Wasserstein Building, Harvard Law School
6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Conference Kick-Off: Dinner and a Movie
Featuring the 2013 documentary “Third and Long”

This event featured clips from the 2011 documentary “Third and Long,” which looks at the struggle African-Americans faced to break barriers in professional football and the National Football League. Students had the opportunity to ask questions of the Director and Executive Producer, Theresa Moore, to discuss the powerful ideas this movie inspires over a tasty dinner and drinks. Additionally, one of the stars of the film, Walter Beach III, was also  on hand to share his experience and answer student questions. For more information on the movie, see:

Saturday, March 2, 2013
All panels were held in the Wasserstein Building at Harvard Law School, Room 1010. Keynote meals were  held at the Sheraton Commander.
9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast
Wasserstein Building

10:00 AM-11:00 AM
Crime and Urban Development in Cities:
This panel addressed the ways that the law can be used to address the myriad problems facing African-American communities, and our responsibilities as law students/members of the African-American community to help. Panelists included former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke, Charles Hamilton Houston Research Director Susan Eaton, 22-year-old Stockton City Councilman Michael Tubbs, HLS Professor David Barron, and Atlanta City Attorney Cathy Hampton. Moderated by Professor Charles Ogletree.

11:15AM-12:15 PM
Political Action and Power:
As we enter the second term of the historic Obama Administration, this panel focused on brainstorming how we, as HLS students and African Americans, can use politics to influence change. This panel sought to answer questions like, who are the most powerful influences in the African American community? How has having a black President changed (or has it) the willingness of African Americans to enter into the political landscape? Confirmed panelists include Former Deputy White House Counsel Cassandra Butts, Clinton White House Diarist Janis Kearney, EEOC Chair Special Assistant Joi Chaney, Virginia Attorney General Candidate Justin Fairfax, and Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II. Moderated by Professor Randall Kennedy.

12:30-2:00 PM
Lunch at the Sheraton Commander Hotel
Feat. DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile

Education – From Brown to Fisher:
This panel looked at our current educational landscape, including strides we’ve made since Brown, as well as adiscussion of possible missteps. Further, this panel addressed what role the law plays in shaping education policy and innovative takes on changing education policies in America. Panelists included BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau, Charles Hamilton Houston Senior Fellow Dr. Laura McNeal, Legal Outreach Executive Director James O’Neal, and Harvard Ed School Emeritus Prof. Charles V. Willie. Moderated by Dean Martha Minow.

Doing Good While Doing Well:
This panel featured our corporate sponsors and addressed the ways in which those who are interested in corporate law can make an impact in the African American community. Specifically, this panel looked at different types of pro bono work, discussed the role of lawyers on boards for non-profits, etc. Panelists included the Advancement Project’s Major Gift Officer Samaia Muhammad, as well as representatives from HBLSA’s Firm sponsors. Moderated by Shook Hardy Bacon Partner Willie Epps.

Black Images in the Media:
This panel looked at the ways in which African Americans are portrayed in movies, sports media, television, the web, and magazines. Panelists analyzed whether those images are accurate. The panel also offered an opportunity to reflect on new and innovative media/mediums for portraying such images, like YouTube and independent film-making. Panelists included Actress/Writer Issa Rae (“Awkward Black Girl,” “I Hate LA Dudes”), Producer Debra Martin Chase (“Sparkle,” “Just Wright,” “The Princess Diaries”), NFL Talent Management VP Rory Verrett, and Social Entrepreneur Raye Mitchell. Moderated by Professor Ronald Sullivan.

Networking Reception: Sheraton Commander Hotel

7:00-9:00 PM
Dinner at Sheraton Commander Hotel

Keynote Speaker: Jeh C. Johnson, Former General Counsel of the Department of Defense (2009-2012), Partner at Paul Weiss

For more on Mr. Johnson’s remarkable career, check out:

10:00 PM-2:00 AM
Conference After-Party
NAGA Cambridge

Sunday, March 3, 2013
11:00 AM-1:00 PM

LAMP Summit and Inspirational Brunch
WCC 2009

In conjunction with BLSA’s Leadership and Mentorship Program (LAMP), this brunch brought students from high schools in the area to meet the HLS student body. This was an opportunity for conference participants to begin thinking about ways that they can integrate the ideas from the Spring Conference with their everyday lives, and share them with the community. This event included a community service component.